Crowdfunding Opportunities Multiply for Savvy Entrepreneurs
By Dave Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services, MAGNET
Mycestro™ is a 3D mouse that fits on the index finger and allows you to control your computer with hand gestures and mouse functions.
A year or so ago, I met Nick Mastandrea, who had invented a “wearable, wireless, 3D mouse“. Even though I’m sure he cringed whenever I said it, I called it the finger mouse.
Allowing for control of computer software and hardware from up to 30 feet away, the product seemed to be an obvious solution for any number of problems. It also allowed for some very interesting future technical scenarios, from controlling aircraft with a glove to “Minority Report”-style information control.
Nick, like many entrepreneurs, had trouble lining up sufficient capital to move forward into early commercial production. While there are a number of early-stage loan and grant programs around the region, sadly there simply isn’t enough money to fund everyone.
With the recent passage of the Jumpstart America bill however, these are interesting times and a number of crowdfunding sites have sprung up around the Internet.
In a display of just how effective such sites can be for early stage entrepreneurs, Nick’s Kickstarter campaign still has about a month to go (at the time of writing), and is overfunded almost 150%!
Kickstarter is only one of the popular crowdfunding sites around these days with Indiegogo, Rockethub, Gofundme, and Crowdrise among the many sites available to entrepreneur’s these days. Each site has its own particular plusses and minuses, but one thing I like in general is that they aren’t just limited to technology startups. In fact, the Oscars of last weekend saw a Kickstarter-funded film take home an Oscar!
So if you’re having trouble getting your funding together and haven’t considered venturing online to crowdfund it, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
Dave Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services, The Incubator at MAGNET
What do you think about crowdfunding? Want to get some advice on taking your innovative idea to the next step? Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to talk with you about the many services and facilities available to entrepreneurs at The Incubator at MAGNET.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or email@example.com
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for